Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity (oil is first), and more than half of the adults in the U.S. drink it regularly. But other than knowing it can wake you up when you’re dragging ass, you probably don’t know all that much about it. And whether it’s wine or beer or coffee, knowing a little about whatever it is you’re guzzling can make you appreciate it more. That’s why we asked Tom Standage, author of The History of the World in Six Glasses, to school us.
1. You get what you pay for … but it’s better not to pay for it
Instant coffee is coffee that’s already been brewed and then had the water removed — that’s why it tends to taste bland. (However, if you’re hell-bent on instant, Starbucks’ VIA Ready Brew line isn’t bad.) And if your office brews decent coffee in the break room, you may want to drink that instead of going to Dunkin’ Donuts every day; one study found that eliminating your morning coffee could save you up to $1,000 per year.